Fr. Martin de la Ronciere

In the ‘Sunday’ of 9 December 2012 I described the growing movement of resistance against the planned act allowing for ‘marriage’ of the same sex couples and adopting children by them. On 17 November and 8 December 2012 the manifestations in various regions of France gathered 300 thousand people in total, half of them from Paris. At that time I was calling the readers of the ‘Sunday’ to pray, so that the mobilisation of the French for the nation-wide manifestation planned on 13 January would be ‘massive and effective’. I thank all those with my whole heart, who were listening to this appeal. We were listened to beyond our expectations! The manifestation in Paris gathered over million people (according to informal sources of gendarmerie 1.3 million people).

The manifestation was joined by 35 associations of various options and beliefs within the Platform ‘Manifestation for everybody’. 10 thousand of volunteers (only the youth!) provided order and animation. It was often reminded through a microphone about peaceful, non-religious and non-party character of the manifestation. The mottos were being repeated: ‘Father, Mother are a base’, ’We want employment places, not the act of Taubira’ (the surname of the justice minister, a promoter of the act), ‘We do not want the act of Francois’ (the name of president Holland). As the nationwide journal ‘Figaro’ wrote, there was peaceful, family and holiday atmosphere’.

The manifestation was attended by lots of parliamentarians of the opposition. Regarding the absence of the representatives of the ruling leftist party, especially the presence of the previous minister for the family of Georgin Dufoix, from the times of the socialist president Francois Mitterrand turned out to be courageous. There were also many mayors and city councillors. Among the representatives of the Church, the manifestation was attended by archbishop of Lyon cardinal Philippe Barbarin who stated: ‘The planned act strongly strikes at the nation. It is not going to be a sign of progress for France. I trust that this act will be abolished’.

The definite majority of participants in this manifestation were the Catholics who had arrived from all parts of France. The demonstrators were walking through three various routes to the Champers de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for the whole afternoon. There a leader of the organizational platform Frigide Bariot proclaimed a solemn appeal to president Francois Holland. She said, among the others: ‘Mr President, will you be the one who would decide that it is possible to be born without a man or without a woman…’. The leader of the manifestation informed that in case of a relentless attitude of the president of France, there would be other demonstrations.

Unfortunately, the reactions of the authorities was terrifying. Just before the end of the demonstration, ministers and presidency proclaimed that the mobilization would not change anything in their determination, in order to present the act in the Parliament (where debates are supposed to start on 29 January this year).

Basing on the false approval of police (350 thousand demonstrators, that is, at least 3 times less than in reality), television and radio generally belittled the demonstration and were completely silent during the solemn appeal of the demonstrators, addressed to the president.

The next day the rightist ‘Figaro’ and the Catholic ‘La Croix’ devoted one page to the demonstration, describing it objectively. However, many newspapers concentrated on the military intervention in Mali. What is interesting, in the leftist regional journal ‘Sud-Quest’ (the Southern West), edited in Bordeaux, which is getting more and more distant from the attitude of the government, one could read in this editorial under the ironic title: ‘Marriage which separates’: ‘Day by day it is becoming clearer that the planned act is deeply dividing the country and through traditional divisions’. Is it a beginning of the inner contestation in the womb of the leftist party?

Considering the oppositionist rightist party, it opposes the planned act nearly unanimously and wants to fight for the referendum in this matter.

It is becoming clearer that the president and his people do not realize that they are standing in front of a movement of resistance which goes beyond traditional political and religious divisions and they will not be able to stop it – neither by a lie, nor violence (definitely refusing a real debate) not diversity (whether an accidental situation, if on the day before the demonstration president Holland started the military intervention in Mali, when in November 2012 he stated that by no means France would intervene in Mali?).

Probably, another national manifestation in Paris will be caused, and this time there can be over 2 million people. The president will be in a more difficult situation. He and his supporters – the Socialistic Party and allies – will pay a high price for their political blindness.

In the situation when the French see that democracy is endangered, I ask the Readers of the ‘Sunday’ for mobilization of prayer, for happy solving the present crisis. It is all about the future of our common European civilisation!

The social opposition towards the governmental project of the act of French socialists legalizing homosexual relationships and opening their access to adopt children, was joined by a few dozen people from Poland. These were the activists from the Catholic Association ‘Civitas Christiana’ and the Polish Federation of Pro-life Movements from Szczecin. Together with the French they were manifesting on 13 January in Paris against ‘marriages for everybody’.

The author participated in the manifestation in Paris on 13 January 2013.

Cardinal Philippa Barbarin who has led the biggest manifestation for dozen years against the governmental plans of deregulation of the traditional notion of family, warned in strong words that the ‘game’ of the authorities might end badly. He criticised the governmental slogan ‘marriage for everybody’, saying that without clear regulating norms, we will not find any logical arguments who is suitable for marriage in order to exclude the relationships of three or four partners or incestuous relationships.


"Niedziela" 4/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl